The Swan and the Crane

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 4
There is an old parable of a swan and a crane. A beautiful swan alighted by the banks of the water in which a crane was wading about seeking snails. For a few moments the crane viewed the swan in stupid wonder and then inquired:
“Where do you come from?”
“I come from heaven!” replied the swan.
“And where is heaven?” asked the crane?
“Heaven!” said the swan, “Heaven! have you never heard of heaven?” The beautiful bird went on to describe the grandeur of the eternal home. In eloquent terms the swan sought to describe the hosts who live in the other world, but without arousing the slightest interest on the part of the crane.
Finally the crane asked: “Are there any snails there?”
“Snails!” repeated the swan. “No! Of course there are not.”
“Then,” said the crane, as it continued its search along the slimy banks of the pool, “you can have your heaven. I want snails!”
This fable has a deep truth underlying it. How many a young person to whom God has granted the advan­tages of a Christian home, has turned his back upon it and searched for snails! How many a man will sacrifice his wife, his family, his all, for the snails of sin! How many a girl has deliberately turned from the love of parents and home to learn too late that heaven has been forfeited in exchange for snails!